SEVEN police officers including an additional superintendent sustained injuries when people pelted stones at them for allegedly stopping a religious procession from passing through a Muslim locality in Hamirpur’s Maudaha town Tuesday.
Police resorted to lathicharge and also fired tear gas to disperse the crowd. Eight people were detained and a police vehicle was damaged. Police are conducting raids to trace others, said DIG, Chitrakoot Dham Range, Manoj Tiwari.
The injured include Additional Superintendent of Police, Hamirpur, Lal Sahab Yadav, who was hit on his head with a stone. The injured were rushed to a hospital where doctors discharged them after first aid, said police.
Station House Officer (SHO) of Maudaha police station Raj Kumar Singh said, “Residents of Maudaha take out a two-day religious procession in the name of Kans Mela every year. People from neighbouring areas also take part. The first day of the procession (Sunday) ended peacefully.”
He further said, “On the second day (Monday), people insisted that the procession be taken through a Muslim locality. Since processions are not taken out from those localities, we did not allow them. Hence, it was not taken out Monday. A series of meetings was held between officials of administration and police and participants of the procession. On Monday evening, the participants decided not to take the procession through the Muslim locality. Hence, we allowed them to take it out Tuesday.”
As a preventive measure, heavy police force was deployed at Maudaha town.
“On Tuesday, when the procession reached close to a Muslim-dominated locality, a few participants of the procession insisted it be taken through there. When police tried to stop them, they suddenly started pelting stones…the situation is now under control,” the DIG said.